By Jeffrey Ford
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Extra resources for The Shadow Year
It took us about a half hour to dig up the footprint, carefully loosening the dirt all around it and scooping way down beneath it with the shovel. We went to Nan’s side door and asked her if she had a box. She gave us a round pink hatbox with a lid that had a picture of a poodle and the Eiffel Tower. Jim told Franky, “Carry it like it’s nitro,” and we took it into our yard and stored it in the toolshed back by the fence. ” As God Is My Judge Nan made lunch for us when the fire whistle blew at noon.
No one would have guessed. Mary was sneaky in a way, though. Jim would have told on me if I’d smoked one. ” in a flat voice. Jim, big boss that he was, laid it out for us. ” Pointing at me, he said, “You have to write everything down. Everything that happens must be recorded. I’ll give you a notebook. ” “Okay,” I said. “Mary,” he said, “you count shit. ” “I’m counting now,” she said in her Mickey voice, nodding her head. We cracked up, but she didn’t laugh. “Franky, you’re my right-hand man. ” Franky agreed, and then Jim told us the first thing we needed to do was search for clues.
It wasn’t an easy operation. You had to use just the right amount to get the cigarettes firm enough so the tobacco didn’t fall out the end. When my parents had first gotten the Laredo, Mary watched them work it. She was immediately expert at measuring out the brown shag, sprinkling it over the crisp white paper, pulling the lever. Soon she took over as chief roller. She was a cigarette factory once she got going; Pop called her R. J. Reynolds. He didn’t smoke them, though. He smoked Lucky Strikes, and he drank Old Grand-Dad, which seemed fitting.
The Shadow Year by Jeffrey Ford